Sunday, July 25, 2010

Michael's 20 Year H.S. Reunion

We're in Houston this weekend. Michael and I drove up to spend four days with his parents and attend his 20 year high school reunion. My sister-in-law is also attending her 20 year reunion for the "sister" school to Michael's school. This means that Steven and Melissa and their kids are also visiting AND that we got to hang out a lot together because the reunions were combined for Friday night. These are both excellent things because we love them and it is super fun to be grown-ups with them.
My in-laws are also beside themselves with joy to have their whole family under one roof. It's a very rare occurrence and so it is a big deal.
The visit/family part is fun.
The reunion part is, well, interesting.
The reunion is not about me. I have been informed of this fact several times by my husband. But I have been taking notes on the whole thing because I am helping to plan my upcoming 15 year high school reunion and I want to make it a good one.
Here are some personal observations. Attending your spouse's high school reunion is like paying your married dues. You show up, look good, make small talk, pretend you are invisible when needed, pretend to be happy while standing alone, pretend not to be uncomfortable and pretend to have never heard your spouses stories before. You do this because you love your spouse and because you expect your spouse to do the same thing at your reunions.
It would perhaps be more fun if these were people that Michael had been friends with since high school and that I had met lots of times before and would see lots of times again, but they weren't. Michael didn't really keep up with his high school friends. They were all total strangers. I didn't know who these people were and I also knew I wouldn't see them again for another ten years. They also weren't interested in me even the slightest bit. I had nothing to offer them. It was an extremely odd social situation.
And Michael's observation is that facebook has sort of taken the small talk out of reunions. You've covered all the bases of how many kids and what you do online. Heck, you even know what they had for lunch and seen a silly video of their kids. But you're not real life friends and when you get together for the reunion, there's not really anything left to talk about. Small talk topics are covered and you just don't know each other well enough to get into deeper topics. It's odd.
And it's expensive! Tickets, hotel, cash bar, dinner, breakfast, sitter. They all add up. Though I have to say that I most enjoyed our posh hotel room at the downtown Hyatt. Oh, the bed! And the dark quiet room! And a flat screen T.V.! And room service! I really liked that part.
Here are some do not do's for reunion based on this experience.
Don't turn the music up so loud. People actually want to talk and catch up and if you have to shout in some one's ear to be heard it really leaves everyone standing around you out of the conversation.
Do a slide show! A few pictures up on a bulletin board is not what I paid $65 per person for.
Name tags are important.
Make it a bit more casual.
Don't wear a black dress. Everyone else is wearing one too.
Don't get drunk. If you are only going to see these people once every ten years, do you want that one meeting to be the one where you made a huge fool of yourself? (Just ask the girl who showed us all her panties on Friday night.)
A good reunion website is very important.
And that's all I've got to say about that. It's over. Now I get to do the fun stuff and hang out with Michael's brother and sister-in-law and my nephews and play and have a good time. I've paid my wifely dues and I'm off the hook for another ten years. And Michael is totally worth it.


Becky Johnson said...

While looking at Facebook, I realized that several of the guys we know through Brandon's fraternity were at that reunion. So, I actually knew more people there then you did :)

Mama Deb said...

This is why it's so helpful that Brandon and I graduated from the same high school, in the same year! Although that certainly poses its own not getting weird when the other is talking to past boyfriends/girlfriends that you knew very well!